Environmental Stewardship

John Dorner, PhD, Liaison for Environmental Stewardship, encourages and supports the education of the faith community regarding the moral imperative for all to serve as Stewards of Creation. He assists parishes in the implementation of ecological initiatives, both at the church and in homes. He serves as liaison with Catholic schools and Catholic and interfaith organizations in the promotion of ecological responsibility, support for the poor, and a healthy planet for our children and future generations.
For more information please contact: Dr. John Dorner

This section of the Archdiocesan website includes eight components. Please click on the relevant words to access the page of interest.

United Nations Climate Summit – September 23

Many Catholics are troubled about the state of our home, planet Earth. They are concerned for the poor and the vulnerable who suffer immeasurably from the impact of environmental degradation and climate change. They are concerned about the future of our children and all the grandchildren of the world. Appreciation is extended to all who promote a culture of life in all its manifestations, including natural ecology – the prerequisite for all life. The United Nations Climate Summit takes place on September 23. Let us pray for all world leaders charged with the responsibility to come to an agreement on climate change. As stated by our Canadian Bishops, problems cannot be remedied without international cooperation – “The interdependence of ecosystems requires policies that go beyond the borders of states.”

Guide for waste management at parish events

Parishes and Catholic organizations celebrate many events on both a large scale and on a small scale. Care for God’s creation is an important value as we make decisions regarding the food and drinks we choose, the dishware and cutlery we use, and how we dispose of waste. Large events may include a parish dinner, volunteer appreciation day, annual parish social event, pancake breakfast, etc. Small events may include workshops, committee meetings, and small group socials where refreshments and snacks are served. Read more.

Environmental Stewardship – Fruit of the Earth and Work of Human Hands

In 1989 the Ontario Catholic Bishops published a document about the agricultural community entitled “The People and the Land”. Now, 25 years later, our Ontario Bishops have brought forward an early 21st century look at Ontario’s farming issues in a reflection entitled “Fruit of the Earth and Work of Human Hands”. This document is well worth reading by both urban dwellers and farmers, as it helps us understand the issues at hand and encourages us to make ethical lifestyle choices that promote safe, sustainable Ontario agriculture. This document, plus a Facilitator’s Workshop Guide are available on the Recent News section of the Ontario Bishops’ website.
The joy of the Gospel – Care for creation

In his newly released apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis calls on us to care for all creation. He writes, “I am speaking of creation as a whole. We human beings are not only the beneficiaries, but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations... Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples.”

Faith and inter-generational solidarity
The photo shows a great-grandfather with his great-grandchild, an age difference of close to 90 years. Imagine the changes that have taken place on our planet in those years! There are two generations in between these two people. Who has made a difference in the state of our environment? Who is making a difference today? Who will make a difference in the future? Can all generations work together to make a positive difference? Yes!

The Council on Aging of Ottawa and Sheng Shen Chinese Community Catholic Church have recently held events that recognize the importance of intergenerational solidarity in promoting care for God’s creation. For further information, visit the Greening Sacred Spaces website.

Grants towards more efficient and less costly lighting

Efforts are currently underway to have parishes take advantage of the Small Business Lighting Grant that supports moving from low efficiency to high efficiency lighting. At this time, parishes that are billed through Hydro One are asked to email their Hydro One account number to John Dorner (jdorner@archottawa.ca). Each parish will subsequently be informed as to its eligibility for the $1,500 grant towards lighting retrofits. For further information contact John Dorner (613-738-5025, ext. 251).

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